How To Legally Stay In Indonesia For 6 Months

nomadicsoul @nomadicsoulNovember 2018 · 6 min read

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So you don't want to be an illegal bandit running from the law, hmm?

Alright, I got you.

I can get you into Indonesia for 6 months... bribes to police necessary.

This post is in honor of and written especially for @daveonarrival 'cause I forgot to read his mind and write a post about this back when he was apparently wondering how to stay in Indonesia for more than 2 months.

I guess I’ll let you guys in on the good stuff, too.

Apparently, a lot of people don’t know about the social visa option which lets you stay in Indonesia for 6 months.

Which, is a big deal, because without it…

…all you can stay is a measly little 2 months.

Which trust me.

It is not enough.

SIX months isn’t even enough.

It’s not even enough to explore Bali, much less the rest of the islands in Indonesia.

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So let me tell you how I got a visa to stay in Indonesia for 6 months. Without having to do a pain in the butt visa run every other month.

Ok, so there are two visa options (unless you want to get a business visa to stay for a year, which is a whole different topic).

This advice is pretty much applicable to Europeans, Australians, Canadians and US Citizens. If you’re from somewhere else…you might wanna fact check this.

First Visa Option - 2 Months:

You can land in the airport in Bali without a visa and stay for 30 days. Look at the date stamped in your passport, though. I accidentally overstayed my first time because I can’t count apparently. Lolz.

If you’d like to stay for 2 months, then you need to remember to ask at the airport if customs can give you a Visa On Arrival (VOA) stamp.

You pay about the equivalent of $35-$40 USD per month if you choose to do this option. So, you will end up paying almost $80 for your visa fees if you want to stay for two months.

Getting a VOA is the only friggin’ way that you can extend from one month to two months.

Not even bribing a policeman will get you extra time in Indo.

Not even flashing him your man boobs will get your visa time extended.

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Second Visa Option - 6 Months

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If you want to stay 6 months, then you have to get a thing called a social visa before you come to Indonesia.

If you’re an introvert. Don’t worry. I don’t think you ACTUALLY have to socialize with people in order to stay here.

You can sit in your room all month if you want and your social visa will have you covered.

** I personally think they should start issuing anti-social visas, but what do I know. **

The social visa lets you stay for 60 days, and then you have to extend it each month to be able to stay longer.

You have to use an agent for this. I mean, you don’t HAVE to… but it saves you a heck of a lot of time and hassle if you do. And they don’t charge that much to work with them, so for me it’s a no brainer to just go ahead and work with an agent.

I use

The first extension, you have to go to immigration about an hour away from Canggu/Ubud to extend. Nina at Bali Viza will tell you where to go.

She’ll also arrange hella cheap transport. She chargers fair rates — lower than you would get with a taxi or a private driver or a grab/uber car.

Of course, if you want…

…you can motorbike there yourself.

But only if your confident enough to deal with hella traffic and people zipping around on motorbikes full of chickens and random things.

It kinda stresses me out, so I opted for the cheap transport.

She charged about $12 round trip for a 2 hour round trip session. Worth it to me.

So, the first month I went to immigration and got my fingerprints taken so they could extend the visa.

The immigration office was full of foreigners and there was free water, which was nice. I got in an out of there in just 20 minutes…

...while all the suckers who didn’t use an agent had to wait in a long ass line for dayyyz.

After that first time, you never have to make that long journey to renew your visa again if you’re working with an agent.

Each month, someone that works at Bali Viza comes to my place and picks up my passport. Then, about 3 weeks later, they return with my passport and a magical stamp that has mysteriously appeared, granting me my wish of staying another month.

The people at Bali Viza are like passport genies.

They make all of your passport wishes come true.

It costs about $50 USD per month to extend your social visa.

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Remember this: It’s a single entry visa. You can not leave Indonesia with this visa. If you do, the visa expires and becomes useless. Much like your a-hole ex-lover.

👉You can’t get this visa online…

…because I guess it’s still a little behind the times around these parts. Which can be a good and bad thing.

Make sure to get your visa in a country that has an Indonesian consulate.

So, for example, I got my social visa for Indonesia in Ho Chi Minh.

Hopefully, you’ll prepare a little better than me ahead of time. I know you don’t like to plan @daveonarrival, but uhh…you might cost yourself an extra flight and some other expenses if you don’t.

I had to leave Da Nang, Vietnam early and pay double rent down in Saigon because I didn’t plan enough in advance to check if there was an Indonesian Consulate in Da Nang or Hoi An.

Guess what?

There wasn’t.

So, even though my $200 per month beachfront apartment was already paid for…

…I had to leave a week early to go to Saigon. :(

But! Saigon was cool so it’s all good.

If you'd rather just look at pictures, these tell you what to do:

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(sorry that this picture is totally girly @daveonarrival)

If you’re traveling around Asia, you can get a social visa in these cities:

Bangkok, Thailand

Chennai, India

Mumbai, India

Penang, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Davao City, Philippines

Hanoi, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

And more. Get the full list here.

I think that's about it!!!

If you have any questions, lemme know!!

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OMG This is so helpful and so timely!! I think @greencross will appreciate this too, I think the universe is corresponding to my needs, aligning itself to give me the things I need :D Thanks for this info babe <3


this is Indonesia though. But I'm fine for an Indonesian adventure as well.

btw how come I didn't run into you @nomadicsoul at Steemfest³? or maybe I did? too drunk probably.

Did spend some time with @daveonarrival tho.



Didn't you read where she said you can get social visa for Thailand as well? Or you're still drunk?LOL LOL.


no, she said you can get the social visa for Indonesia in Thailand. @elsiekjay




hahaha who's the drunk one now?! lol


hahaha! I wish I was lol


hehehe Indonesia is also cool @elsiekjay :)


awww man. The worst thing about steemfest is finding people that you didn't get to meet during steemfest =/


story of my life @nomadicsoul lol happens to me in all the get togethers. I never appear on photos and many people left to meet. In any case, nice to meet you!!! can I scan you now? lol


haha like I said to everyone get one free pass to scan me up and down. That's it lol


haaaaaa best answer so far 😂 @nomadicsoul


Thank you for this info. Do you know if this works as well for a family?

Yes, we are very social and we love to travel longer time in lovely Indonesia 🇮🇩 


I vote for the man boobs and anti-social visas.


😂😂 Always a good choice


Yay! You made the post! Thanks for this info!






Ok, awesome article! I am just today processing a visa application for a friend of mine who's travelling to Mayapur, India via Calcutta. She eventually wants to live there but my experience is only 60 days at a time as well - do you have any experience/info for that area?


Dude I meant to comment on your articles, too! I read a couple- they're good! Sorry about the scam...seems like way too much effort on their part.

All I know about India is you can apply for a visa online and it's good for 60 days. Not sure if there's more than that- I'd have to look.

But that's the visa I got when I went.

I really love countries you can apply online. Unfortunately, you can't for Indonesia


Hey thanks! I'm not noticing more email scams coming through so that's kinda wild but I'm steering clear. I'm trying to get more articles going but I agonize over them and I think I just need to get them down. Everyone Chris talks about is so talented so I think I get a bit overwhelmed.

So, I think what I know about India is correct - a 10 year tourist visa (which sometimes they only give 1 or 5 year, it really depends on when you're applying) which gives you two entries for up to 60 days each. I was hoping there was a nifty trick but probably not. Thanks so much anyway!


Very very very helpful. I'm gonna have to look into this.


Yay! Do it soon, maybe I'll get to meet up with you haha. You're so close!


This is awesome to know... my sis-in-law teaches Indonesian in Melbourne (Aus) and goes back all the time... I'm honestly not sure if she knows about this... so I'll let her know and then I'll seem like the Smartest Dude Ever! So, thanks!

Also useful when I totally become a proper digital nomad.


I am waiting for you in Indonesia to visit all the interesting places, I advise you not to just visit Bali, because there are so many beautiful places here, you also have to go to Sabang, Aceh ...😊


I agree! I want to travel the whole country. It's SO BIG!!!


thanks for laying this out simply. When i was in lombok this summer we went to meet some government officials about it and they mentioned social and cultural visa, as we had a sponsor. Unfortnautely the earthquakes started and that cut everything short, at least we know now exactly what it is since it wasnt fully explained at the time, i had no idea that it would need to be reneweed every month with a fee!


Oh my goodness, you were there during the earthquakes?! Me too, only in Bali, so it was way less intense. Were you there for the biggest one?

That one was scary even in Bali, so I can only IMAGINE what it was like on Lombok. My nextdoor neighbors were in Lombok during the biggest one and their homestay was completely destroyed.

They said they went back the next morning and dug their passports out of the rubble and luckily no one had stolen them.

Yep- renewed every month with a fee. I think I want to go to some visa free countries for awhile haha. Although, the social visa is pretty painless since you only need to go to the immigration office one time


Yea we stayed for all of the quakes because we ended up living in a tent and washing in a river because there was no electricity or running water. Super intense and we were in the North right on the epicentre. Thankfully we were friends with the locals and we were well looked after. We already had our flight book 5 days after the big earthquake so we left then. Ive been doing a fund raiser to help some ppl there who lost there homes and many ppl still living outside now. Still plan to go back also. Are you living on bali permantelyish?